A Gambling Girl’s Confessions
“At night the music would come to rest within her mind,
within her chest and the words would flow like tears.”
– Sarah J. Hyland
Sarah J. Hyland is back, pairing formidable vocal prowess with trademark sass in her third album, A Gambling Girl’s Confessions. On this 9-track album, four years in the making, Hyland breaks into new territory. The sultry vocals, soul-baring lyrics and seamless blend of folk, blues and jazz and are all still there. But this latest album draws on world music traditions, from uplifting African rhythms to soul-stirring Indian tabla, to bring new musical depth, signaling a change in direction for Hyland.
“This album represents a transition phase, from who I was to who I’m becoming,” she says. That transition is evident in songs like E-Train – a track that deftly fuses folk and jazz to pay homage to the power of music. Hyland penned the song about a brief, spontaneous connection with a commuter during her sixmonth
stay in New York in 2013. “I was riding the E train to Queens one day, and there was this gorgeous guy facing me,” she explains. “He had headphones on and he was just bopping away. I couldn’t help but smile at him and he smiled back – then he really started getting down. “And I felt there was this unspoken, beautiful shared moment where we both acknowledged the power of music. We both got it. It still makes me smile when I think about it now.”
Hyland returns to more traditional jazz styling with Cleaning My House, a song which pairs smouldering vocals and tongue-in-cheek humour with the sassy sound of big band trumpets. The album’s final track, Angel’s Grace, is a soaring folk ballad that delightfully pairs Indian percussion with slide guitar, once again showcasing Hyland’s talent for fusing disparate musical elements to create a fresh new sound. Hyland is backed by an all-star line up featuring Dave Longo on guitar, Mat McMahon on
keys, Brett Hirst on bass and Pete Drummond on drums. The album also features special guests Bobby Singh on tabla, Jess Ciampa on percussion, Ray Cassar on trumpet and Maureen Longo backing vocals.
The album was co-written and produced by Dave Longo in Sydney.
A honey-voiced storyteller of prodigious talent, Sarah J. Hyland has been commanding international attention since she broke onto the scene in 2004 with a spirited version of the 1978 R & B classic Boogie Oogie Oogie. The debut single was used to open Iceland Fashion Week the same year, while her first album Girl Parts was well received throughout Europe. Since then she has been touring her unique brand of jazz, blues and folk around the world.
In 2009 Hyland released her second album A Girl Like Me to a round-up of prestigious jazz and live music venues in Manhattan, NY, with shows at the Rockwood, The Bitter End and Zinc Bar.
Three years later, Hyland’s band was invited to play at a charity event at top New Delhi venue, the Taj Mahal Palace, where she performed a mix of original songs and jazz standards.
Hyland has also received critical acclaim at home where she is a regular on the jazz circuit playing A-list venues like the Vanguard and the Basement in Sydney and the Paris Cat in Melbourne.
She has sung alongside industry heavyweights including Vanessa Amorossi and Eric Clapton, performed at Wangarratta Jazz Festival and the Paramasala Festival in Sydney, while her second album Fly into Your Arms featured on ABC Radio’s Jazztrack program.
Fly into your arms – 2007
Originally released in 2009 as A Girl Like Me, Hyland’s second offering charts the ups and downs of love with soul-baring honesty and self-deprecating humour. From the silky smooth vocals of the title track to the sassy scatting in This Day is Screwed this 11- track album deliciously fuses jazz, blues folk and pop in a way that leaves you wanting more.
Girl Parts – 2004
Hyland’s debut album established her as a powerhouse new talent on the global scene. The electronica-pop influenced album is by turns sensual, playful and confessional, Hyland never shies away from exposing the gritty underbelly of love and relationships.